We need to talk, and I don’t want to beat around a happy little bush about why. I have to speak my truth, and my truth is I am leaving you for Bob Ross. I love him, and while I am aware he is no longer physically with us, his beautiful spirit lives on in every episode of The Joy of Painting.

Joy? Fucking-A right.

Do you know how many tubes of titanium white Bob Ross goes through over a ten-episode period? I don’t. I just wondered if you did because you seem to know everything. I actually never realized how much you knew before we started quarantining together, but now I understand there is no subject you are not able to enlighten me on. Sometimes, though, I just need to decompress and binge-watch Bob plop down some sweet-ass happy little birchwood trees, without you telling me how long COVID-19 can live on hard surfaces, like birchwood. I think needing that is understandable. I know Bob would understand.

This time at home has allowed me to learn so much I never knew about Bob. Yesterday I learned he was in the military stationed in Alaska, which was clearly the inspiration for paintings #1-#47, #49-#214, #220-#367, and everything after #385. Bob saw some shit when he was a Staff Sergeant in Fairbanks, and when you see shit that inspires you to do five hundred variations of what basically amounts to the same painting, you know you have SEEN SOME SHIT. I guess we are just lucky Bob was not stationed somewhere else, or the world would have missed out on masterpieces like #20. That would have been a real fucking shame. The world needs a lot more #20s.

So obviously, this isn’t about Bob and me. It’s about you. Bob says, “If you want sad things, watch the news,” and you watch the news A LOT now. All the coronavirus coverage is totally stressing me out. As Bob also says, “You can have anything you want in the world once you help everyone around you get what they want,” and what has become as transparent as #113’s clear mountain stream, is that you want to be miserable and alone, and I am going to help give you that, because what I want, actually what I NEED right now, is Bob.

You and I are stuck in a rut, and maybe it’s that we are spending just so so so much time together, but with Bob and me, it’s different. He makes me feel calm and centered, but somehow he is never dull. Every episode has a little surprise. A rock you didn’t expect. A cloud you didn’t see coming. And just when I think I’ve seen the limits of his creativity — BAM he breaks out the black background. It’s always when I’m ready to turn him off that I see a black background episode is up next, and I’m like, “No way. No fucking way. Black background? What craziness is this??” and then he hooks me all over again. Bob always knows how to bring it back.

Full confession time: last night, after you and I had fine, sufficient sex, I poured myself a glass of wine, and settled in for an epic Bob-a-thon. God, that man can wear a pair of jeans. Anyway, he started beating that brush, over and over, so hard, and the next thing I knew, I was daydreaming about sinking my hands into that cotton-candy soft fro, and letting Bob take me on the floor of one of his rustic, responsibly secluded cabins while the gurgling of a nearby stream served as a soundtrack to our gentle love-making. And we did NOT use hand sanitizer afterward, if you know what I mean. I know I keep saying I don’t want to have kids with you, but sometimes I fantasize that Bob and I have a happy little accident of our own, and I’m okay with the idea, and I think that says a lot about where he and I are versus where you and I are. Basically, he and I are in the tin roof shack in #212, and you are no longer in the picture.

I don’t think it would do either of us any good to keep pretending this is working. As Bob says, “In nature, dead trees are just as normal as live trees,” and the point I’m making here is that it is totally normal that our tree is dead. Right now, Bob is the only thing that makes any sense to me in this turbulent world. He and I are two proud mountains in the center of this canvas called life, and I just want to keep painting our journey together in Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Yellow, and yes, even a little Phthalo Blue because as Bob says, “You need the dark in order to show the light.” So. Fucking. Wise.

So from all of us here, and by us, I mean me, I’d like to wish you happy, socially-distanced dating, and God Bless, my friend.